Mumbai cop turns whistleblower, exposes bribe ‘rate-card’ of traffic police

Mumbai cop turns whistleblower, exposes bribe 'rate-card' of traffic police
Representational Image. Courtesy: Reuters

A head traffic constable has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Bombay High Court, alleging rampant corruption in Mumbai’s traffic department and sought registration of FIR and departmental enquiry against the accused officials.

The PIL has been filed by head constable Sunil Toke, who joined service in 1985 and is currently attached with Armed Police Force of Worli division. He was posted with the Goregaon traffic police and then the Wadala traffic police between 2013 and 2016.

In his petition, Toke said that he was shocked to see the rampant corruption in the traffic department during his tenure.

“The traffic police take money from trucks which ply sand illegally, trucks which evade octroi, trucks which carry construction material, illegal parking, drunken driving and so on,” he said alleged in the petition.

It further states that the traffic police department collects Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 from four star and five star hotels for allowing illegal parking.

“There are thousands of illegal taxis and autorickshaws plying in the city without requisite permissions. The traffic police collect Rs 1000-2000 from each such vehicle every month and allows them to ply,” the petition claimed.

It also alleges that during nakabandi for drunken driving, only five to ten cases out of 50 are officially registered and the offenders subsequently persecuted.

“In the other cases, amounts of Rs 10000 to Rs 50000 are taken by the traffic police depending on who the offender is,” the petition said.

Toke has also given a rate-card of sorts, wherein traffic officials take bribes or ‘hafta’ ranging from:

* Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh from companies to dig up roads.
* Rs Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh from TV or film studios for shooting.
* Rs 1 lakh from companies organizing events at NESCO, BKC etc.
* Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 from Dominos, Pizza Hut delivery boys.
* Rs 5,000 from two-wheeler showrooms and Rs 10,000 from four-wheeler showrooms.
* Rs 100 to Rs 200 to allow tankers to ply on the road during day time.
* Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 from construction companies to allow them to use cement mixers and other vehicles on site.
* Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 to from truck drivers to allow overloading.
* Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 from school buses to allow illegal parking.
* Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 from truck drivers to allow their vehicle to pass unchecked from Octroi naka.

The constable has sought a direction to senior authorities to lodge a FIR against the corrupt traffic police officials named in his complaint. He has also asked for a departmental inquiry into the matter and appropriate action against them.

In his petition, Toke has also submitted a list of complaints against certain policemen of the traffic department.

The petition will be taken up for hearing in the coming days.

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